FP2 at Barcelona was a quiet session, as the teams and drivers pushed yet again to find the limits of the cars. The track temperature in FP2 was a bit hot with a 45 degree Celsius track temperature, though this didn’t phase the drivers who set out to find their cars’ limit.
No sooner than his session started that Valtteri Bottas had to pull over and stop his car, for he suffered a suspected engine issue which forced him to stop near the marshal post at Turn 2. He had just finished his flying lap, and smoke emerged from the back of his car and from the cockpit, and ended the Finn’s afternoon early. If one thinks back to Barcelona pre-season testing then they might remember that Alfa had a torrid time with many reliability woes- it’s possible that elements of the Barcelona track just don’t suit the Alfa car at all!
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Drivers pushed to the limits- some even tested how much they could stretch the limits! The initial runs took place on the medium tyres, however during the soft tyre runs Ferrari seemed to prove that their pace is very much real. Sainz went P1 momentarily sending the crowd into a loud roar, though he was soon beaten by teammate Leclerc.
Traffic was also a factor in the session- some drivers were slightly hampered by traffic and had to abort their fastest laps as well. Despite this, the drivers still carried on, and a pleasant surprise was seeing the Mercedes duo in P2 and P3 courtesy of Russell and Hamilton respectively.
Sainz was 4th, while Alonso was 6th to ensure both Spaniards ended the session in the top 6 at their home race. Red Bull were an uncanny P5 and P7, and will certainly be hoping for better. Mick Schumacher was a promising P10, while both AlphaTauris were outside the Top 10.
Key to note also is that McLaren’s upgrades this weekend are only on Norris’ car, with Daniel still running the older-spec MCL36 this weekend as the team determine the effectiveness of the upgrade. The session was useful for the teams to prep for qualifying and raceday- let’s just hope reliability doesn’t plague any other drivers tomorrow!